Status Quo frontman Francis Rossi has paid tribute to his bandmate, Rick Parfitt, who died aged 68 on Christmas Eve.
Rossi describing Parfitt as “the archetypal rock star”, “one of the originals” who “never lost his joy, his mischievous edge and his penchant for living life at high speed, high volume, high risk”.
The musician died on Saturday after suffering from a severe infection while in a Spanish hospital, which he had visited on Thursday due to complications with a pre-existing shoulder injury.
There had been concern about his health for many years. He had survived several heart attacks and a cancer scare.
Rossi said in a statement: “Rick Parfitt had been a part of my story for 50 years. Without doubt the longest relationship of my life: this was also the most satisfying, frustrating, creative and fluid.
“From those early days, we worked together to create the Quo sound, look and hits. We spent years on the road, on the stage and in the studio, rarely far from each other, honing what we did.
“We were a team, a double act, a partnership and yet also two very different people, handling the pressures of growing older, constant touring, dealing with success and keeping the creative flame burning in different ways.”
Rossi said Parfitt “developed his own sound, his own style” and casually inspired a generation of guitar players.
“Rick was the archetypal rock star, one of the originals, he never lost his joy, his mischievous edge and his penchant for living life at high speed, high volume, high risk,” he added. “His life was never boring, he was louder and faster and more carefree than the rest of us.
“There were any number of incidents along the way, times when he strayed into areas of true danger and yet losing him now is still a shock. Even in a year that has claimed so many of our best, including now George Michael, Rick Parfitt stands out. I was not ready for this.”
From 1967, Parfitt helped steer Status Quo to become one of British rock’s staple acts. Hits such as Rockin’ All Over the World became immortalised when they opened the historic Live Aid concert in 1985 in a performance broadcast globally.
In 2015, the band eventually passed a milestone enjoyed by only a handful of musicians, spending a total of 500 weeks in the UK album charts.TG